Multistakeholder Pledge: Together Against the Tide - Climate Action for Displaced Communities in the IGAD Region

Key outcomes

Commitments which form part of this multi-stakeholder pledge will contribute towards:

  1. Protection:  Strengthen and expand protection of refugees, conflict victims, internally displaced persons (IDPs), stateless persons, migrants, and host communities in situations of vulnerability affected by climate change.
  2. Early warning and anticipatory action: Strengthen regional capacity to predict, analyse, and manage climate risks and impacts on human mobility, considering age, gender, and diversity.
  3. Resilience, adaptation, and mitigation: Strengthen the awareness and capacities of local actors to protect, sustainably manage or restore local ecosystems.
  4. Financial, technical, and political mobilisation: Ensure climate finance is effectively mobilized, accessed, utilized, scaled up and include refugees and their hosts to contribute to the achievement of intended climate change goals and a low-emission development pathway in the IGAD region.


IGAD region has one of the highest concentrations of displaced people in the world. The number of forcibly displaced people in the IGAD region has more than tripled over the past decade, amounting to over 5 million refugees and asylum seekers and 13 million people internally displaced by conflict in mid-2023. Additionally, according to the 2023 global report on internal displacement, of the 7.5 million people who were displaced across Africa as a result of climate change, over three million of this population were displaced within the IGAD region.

Many displaced populations, their hosts and communities in areas of origin are repeatedly affected and displaced by both conflict and climate-related shocks, adding to complex drivers of internal and cross-border displacement in the region, including refugee movements. Exposure and vulnerability to climate impacts further amplifies needs for protection during displacement and may add to obstacles to achieving durable solutions in areas of return.

In March 2017, IGAD convened a Special Summit on durable solutions for Somali refugees and reintegration of returnees in Somalia. The Summit recognized the regional nature of impacts and solutions for both displacement and mixed migration, and underscored the need for a strengthened framework for regional integration and cooperation. The Summit adopted the Nairobi Action Plan, which called for a paradigm shift in addressing forced displacement and mixed migration - from a humanitarian and security perspective, to a development challenge. The commitments of the Nairobi Declarations have since been expanded to cover all populations of concern in the IGAD.

Pledge description

This pledge will have three main elements. The first element aims at advocating for the development and implementation of planned and well-managed policies relevant to human mobility, disasters and climate change to promote mobility as an adaptation strategy and to enhance protection of those moving or being compelled to move. It will build on ongoing efforts to translation of relevant global agreements such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Sustainable Development Goals, Global Compact on Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees, and the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda on cross-border disaster displacement to regional and national policies and actions. It will also promote the application of innovative regional instruments such as article 16 of the IGAD free movement protocol that calls on Member States to facilitate entry and stay for people who are moving in anticipation of, during or in the aftermath of a disaster.

The second element will strive to expand the evidence base on the displacement risk drivers and address the knowledge/data gap in understanding displacement trends in current and future climate change scenarios in the horn of Africa region. This will include conducting regular, integrated risk assessments to better anticipate and manage how climate-related hazards overlap with other hazards – including conflict and outbreaks of violence – and their impacts, including displacement.

The third element will the mobilization of donor attention to support forcibly displaced persons and their hosts to build resilience and adapt to fast-changing climatic contexts using locally based solutions and taking into consideration age, gender and diversity approaches.


  • IGAD Member States: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda
  • Core-Group Member of the IGAD Support Platform (EU, Germany, World Bank, Sweden, USA, UNDP)

Supported by UNHCR

Contact details

Fathia Alwan - [email protected]; Charles Obila - [email protected]


  • Regional follow-up-and review workshop on the Kampala Declaration - TBD
  • Regional validation workshop of the IGAD Policy framework on Refugee Protection - October 16-18
  • Annual Stocktake of the IGAD Support Platform - November 12-16
  • Pledge announcement at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) - December 2023

Contributions towards this multi-stakeholder pledge